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6/30/2014
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4 Facebook Privacy Intrusion Fixes

Facebook may control most of your data, but you can take protective steps. Here's what you need to know.

Facebook Privacy: 10 Settings To Check
Facebook Privacy: 10 Settings To Check
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

For one week in early 2012, Facebook toyed with the emotions of nearly 700,000 unsuspecting users, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

To determine whether Facebook could change the emotional state of users, the social network manipulated newsfeeds to show more positive posts to some people and negative posts to others. In instances where users were shown more positive posts, they were more likely to share positive statuses. Conversely, users who were shown more negative posts were more likely to share negative status messages.

While experts debate whether or not the experiment was ethical, most agree that it was legal: Facebook's Terms of Service state that in using the social network, people relinquish their use of their data for "data analysis, testing, [and] research."

Facebook may have a stranglehold on most of your data, but there are settings that prevent the social network from using it in certain ways. Here's a look at the information you can protect, including your search history, location data, and online browsing habits.

[What do Facebook's latest algorithm tweaks mean for you? Read Facebook News Feed: 5 Changes.]

1. Delete your Facebook search data
Whether you search for a hashtag, someone's profile, or a new page to follow, Facebook tracks -- and records -- your every query. While you don't have much control over the other tidbits Facebook collects and stores about you and your habits, you can clear your search history.

To do this, start at your Activity Log. This shows you all your recent Facebook activity, such as photos you commented on, pages you liked, and searches you performed using Graph Search. Click More from the left-side navigation, then click Search. Your entire search history will load, provided you have never deleted it before.

From here, you can remove individual searches by clicking the Block icon and selecting Remove. If you want to clear all of it, click the Clear Searches link at the top. Click Clear Searches in the popup that appears; Facebook says it tracks your searches to "show you more relevant results."

2. Clear your Facebook location history
Facebook launched a new feature in April called Nearby Friends, which tracks, stores, and shares your location with your Facebook friends. If you use this feature or have used it in the past, the social network has a database of every location you've visited -- whether or not you were using the app at the time.

When you turn on Nearby Friends, you also turn on Facebook Location History. Facebook will add your locations to the Location History section of your activity log, but only you will be able to see this. The good news: You can switch it off and delete your location history.

To turn off your Location History, tap the More button within your mobile

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Moderator
7/28/2014 | 9:40:05 AM
Re: Another solution: share less
@cafzali,

I agree with you to a point. It's easier to stay in closer touch with 'fringe friends' as I call them. The closer friends, you'll most likely speak to on the phone or communicate via text, right?
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Moderator
7/22/2014 | 9:14:43 AM
Re: Another solution: share less
@cafzali,

I really use FB as a way to share content with family & friends. From time to time, they'll also share something good with me too. That I would miss if I stopped.
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Moderator
7/22/2014 | 9:13:19 AM
Re: Another solution: share less
@majenkins,

Not to mention that the BIG THINK is nothing you care about. Even if you do care about it, you could live better not hearing some people's ignorant opinions.

I'm not saying it's easy but it might be worth it to take a FB sabbatical.
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Moderator
7/22/2014 | 9:09:37 AM
Re: Another solution: share less
@Ariella,

I'm interested to hear what about G+ keeps you on it instead of FB?
dhonigman-g2
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dhonigman-g2,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/3/2014 | 3:52:19 PM
Re: Another solution: share less
I notice I've been sharing much fewer personal happenings. Stick to more news articles these days, unless it's really important.
cafzali
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cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
7/1/2014 | 4:07:28 PM
Re: Another solution: share less
@pcharles09 Add me to the list of folks who just don't see abandoning Facebook as that difficult. While I see value and appreciate being able to share family photos, etc. with people who I was once more personally connected to but cannot be now, I don't look at Facebook as an actual vehicle to communicate with current friends. In other words, if I'm only talking to people via FB, they're a friend in a different context. It's nice to know what's going on with them, but if FB pushes people too far, many will stop seeing the value. 

Between the constant flubs on Facebook's part and the tendency of some folks to ramble on forever about politics there, I think breaking up won't be so hard to do for many.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 12:50:32 PM
Much simpler approach:
Stop using Facebook!
majenkins
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majenkins,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 11:48:33 AM
Re: Another solution: share less
pcharles09, And how is it going to kill you to not hear what your most active friends had for dinner last night or what they think about the latest BIG THING in the news.
majenkins
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majenkins,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 11:45:39 AM
Re: Another solution: share less
Rate It 100% Thomas Claburn, AMEN brother.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 9:21:36 AM
Re: Another solution: share less
@Pcharles09 yes, and that's not always going to happen. I use Google+ a lot more than FB, and quite a number of my FB connections are there, too. But a lot of the people who started out on FB keep active there and don't really post on or read G+. So the only way to keep with them is with the older network unless they're willing to email. I'd be fine with that option but die-hard FB people will even message through the social network rather than emailing directly. 
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